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Virtual Storage Area Networking (VSAN)

In this tutorial, we are going to learn about the Virtual Storage Area Networking (VSAN), How Virtual Storage Area Networking Works, Advantages of SAN, Applications of Virtual storage area network.
Submitted by Rahul Gupta, on January 22, 2021

Logical partitioning generated within a physical storage area network is a Virtual Storage Area Network (VSAN). This storage virtualization method implementation model divides and allocates some or an entire storage area network into one or more logical SANs to be used by IT services and solutions that are internal or external.

There are two types of SAN solutions:

  • Fiber Channel (FC) - Via a high-speed network of interconnected fiber channel switches, storage and servers are linked. This is used when uninterrupted data access is needed for mission-critical applications.
  • Internet Small Computer System Interface (ISCSI) Protocol - The versatility of a low-cost IP network is supported by this infrastructure.

How Virtual Storage Area Networking Works?

A virtual SAN appliance allows unused virtual server storage space to be pooled and accessed as required by virtual servers. A virtual SAN appliance is most commonly downloaded as a software program that runs on a virtual machine, although some storage hardware vendors are beginning to integrate virtual SAN appliances into their firmware. A virtual SAN appliance may also be called software-defined storage (SDS) appliance or, simply, a virtual storage appliance, depending on the provider.

Advantages of SAN

Followings are the advantages of SAN -

  • Improved manageability: While managing identical drives is relatively simple, if storage resources require multiple vendors or even several models from the same vendor, the task can become much more difficult. A VSAN is not only easy to set up but easy to handle and produce.
  • Storage Virtualization: Server capacity is no longer connected to single storage units, as large and consolidated storage pools are now available for software applications.
  • Better information lifecycle management: Administrators of virtualization can migrate regularly accessed data to high-performance storage, pushing data regions rarely accessed to less costly storage resources.
  • Centralized Backup: Instead of numerous disc and server links, servers display stored data on local discs. IT server administrator duties are simplified by advanced backup functionality, such as block-level and incremental backups.
  • Nondisruptive data migration: A VSAN helps adopters to move data quickly and without any downtime between drives.
  • High-Speed Disk Technologies: An example is FC, which provides data retrieval speeds that surpass 5 Gbps. Storage-to-storage data transfer is also possible through direct data transmission from the source to the target computer with minimal or no server interference.
  • Dynamic Failover Protection: It provides continuous operation of the network, even if a node fails or goes offline for maintenance, enabling built-in redundancy and automatic redirection of traffic.
  • Lower Cost: Usually, physical storage infrastructure such as a NAS or SAN includes advanced hardware and wider network architecture that can accommodate high bandwidth and low latency. These components can be costly, and for organizations with multiple sites, each needing storage infrastructure, the costs add up significantly.

Applications of Virtual storage area network

  • Virtualization of servers.
  • Automation of clouds.
  • Demilitarized territories and any test conditions.
  • Environments with a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).
  • Support network edge locations.
  • Transform virtual storage to localized storage.
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